Spring Fest at Purdue is weekend of family fun for all ages

March 31, 2011

Marcy Teany and her son, Scott, 8, of West Lafayette, Ind., look at the sculpture of Native American-inspired art called "Sidewinder." The sculpture, on the southwest corner of Pao Hall on Marsteller Street, will be open during the university's Spring Fest for visitors to walk through on guided tours. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A Native American-inspired sculpture and a play featuring insect characters are among new activities for this year's Spring Fest, a weekend family festival April 9-10 at Purdue University.

"Spring Fest is an event for families to visit campus and enjoy educational activities from more than 30 colleges, departments and units at Purdue," said Danica Kirkpatrick, events and educational activities coordinator for Purdue Agriculture. "We have something for every age, including toddlers, students considering where to attend college, and the parents and grandparents of them all."

The sculpture, titled "Sidewinder," is a collaboration between the College of Agriculture's Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture and the College of Liberal Arts' Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual Arts.  It was built in the last few weeks with the help of 30 students. Designed by North Carolina-based artist Patrick Dougherty, it is constructed of natural material and is created in the likeness of Native American mounds and shapes. 

Visitors to "Sidewinder" can take guided tours of the walk-through sculpture. Children can also try willow-weaving at stations staffed by students who helped with its construction.

The sculpture will stand for 2-3 years before the natural materials degrade and it is removed.

The play, "The Insecta Class Yearbook," is a new addition to Bug Bowl activities at Spring Fest. Student actors under the direction of Tom Turpin, professor of entomology, will help audiences better understand the classification of insects and their differing roles in nature. Performances will take place in Lilly Hall, Room 1-104, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on both days.

Turpin also will emcee the cricket spit-off finals daily at 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The College of Pharmacy joins the Spring Fest lineup. Among its activities is the game show "Over-the-Counter Medication Jeopardy" at 2 p.m. April 9 in the Pharmacy Building.

The School of Nursing's Health Fair will include a puppet show to discourage bullying. It will be presented each day at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. at the school's tent.

Also new to Spring Fest is the Alpha Chapter of World Help Solutions, which works with nonprofits around the world to solve community problems. Visitors will learn why it is hard to find clean water and see the technology WHS is developing to help.

Returning favorites include the Purdue Engineering Student Council, Boiler Barnyard and the School of Veterinary Medicine's Open House.

Other participants are Purdue's colleges Science, Health and Human Sciences, Education and Technology; Purdue's Krannert School of Management; Purdue Grand Prix Foundation; evGrand Prix; Purdue Galleries; Army ROTC; Purdue Fencing Club and the Indiana University School of Medicine-Lafayette.

A detailed program of the weekend activities and a map are available at http://www.purdue.edu/springfest 

Writer:  Shelby May, 574-551-9029, mayse@purdue.edu

Source:  Danica Kirkpatrick, 765-494-9113, dkirkpat@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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